Fille Qui Mousse

Se Taire une Femme Trop Belle

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This album has a strange history, but not as strange as the music it offers. Se Taire Pour une Femme Trop Belle ("Shutting up for a Woman Too Pretty") is the first and only album to have been recorded by the French collective Fille Qui Mousse ("Frothing Girl"). It was recorded in July 1971 in a single day of studio time for the Futura label. Its release was canceled due to the label struggling with financial problems, but about five test copies were pressed and "escaped" to build a cult status among collectors. The album was later released on CD by Mellow and Spalax, but it now appears that both reissues were illegal and misleading. In 2001, Fractal put out the first authorized reissue, with legitimate track titles and for the first time songwriting and performing credits. Was the music worth all that trouble? It's hard to say. This album is part tape experiment, part experimental psychedelia, part Krautrock. Some tracks are very strong and intriguing, but as a whole the album covers too much ground with too varying results to make a strong impression. Things start and finish with two good Krautrock-type jams (over the same riff) featuring guitarist Daniel Hoffmann, the rhythm section of Jean-Pierre and Dominique Lentin, and soloing guests François Guildon (guitar) and Léo Sab (violin), all "directed" by Henri-Jean Enu, the group's mastermind. These two tracks account for 14 of the 35 minutes of running time. In between are squeezed nine short pieces by Enu, Denis Gheerbrandt, and Benjamin Legrand. "Amour-Gel" pairs a recitation in French with barking dogs and other field recordings. In "Derrière le Paravent," male voices are looped and stretched into a nagging drone. "Mirroir Nageait dans le Lac du Bois de Boulogne" and "Tibhora-Parissalla" feature Legrand's piano playing treated, edited, and otherwise mauled with what the technology could offer at the time (mainly overdubbing and applying razorblades to tape). You probably had to be there: For 1971, Fille Qui Mousse was far out, even more extreme than the Mothers of Invention. Today, fans of Neu!, Faust, the No-Neck Blues Band, or Jackie-O Motherfucker will find it entertaining.

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